A South Florida homeowner hires you to oversee a major renovation project. At first, all appears to be fine between you and the clients. But as time passes, you begin to question your decision to sign a contract with the homeowners.
Maybe they are suddenly unable or unwilling to meet the terms of the payment schedule. Or perhaps "scope creep" has reared its ugly head and fomented trouble between you and your client. Either way, you are hovering in the danger zone of breach of contract.
What does your contract spell out?
Savvy contractors know to include the most granular details in the contract. That way, if a dispute arises, you can both review the terms of the contract and determine the path forward based on that.
No more Mr. Nice Guy
It's one thing to try to accommodate a client and quite another to see your profits slip through your fingers while you try to appease irrational demands. Nobody likes to be told "no," but some clients need to hear the word when they make unreasonable demands for services and items not included in the contract.
What your contract should contain
A good renovation contract will contain the following:
- Bids and costs
- Materials list
- Work deadlines
- Payment schedules
- Master plan of work to be completed
- Subcontractor information
Things do come up, and responsible contractors are amenable to making adjustments. But those adjustments need to be added as addendums to the contract and signed by both you and your client.
Include your ground rules
Some contractors go the extra mile and include details like the bathroom workers will use on the job or the cleaning specifications for the job site at the end of the workers' shift. It's generally better to include more details than to skimp and leave a situation open to interpretation.